Hajo

Hajo has a magnificent ensemble of temples and monuments, all of which are raised to honor a vibrant pantheon of Gods. It is a place in the state of Assam just 32 km away from the city of Guwahati. Today this town is renowned for its Brass Metal craft. It has a large number of temples, the most revered one of which is the Hayagriva-Madhab Temple. The temple houses the image of Vishnu, which resembles the image of Jagannath at Puri in Orissa. This temple is also revered by the Buddhists. Right next to the temple is a mosque called Powa Mecca built by Mir Lutufullah-i-Shiraji in 1657. Hajo is also considered to be a Muslim pilgrimage centre, since it is believed that, the foundation of the mosque partly comprises of some earth brought from Mecca. In front of the mosque lies the tomb of Gyasuddin Aulia, who made the first attempts to spread Islam in this part of the world. At Hajo, one inevitably takes measure of its history, from the great temples to the mosques, an enormous testimony to mankind's quest for the Divine. The powerful sweep of spirituality is apparent everywhere in Hajo - in its joyful and absolutely whole monuments and in structures like the Hayagriva-Madhab Temple and the Powa Mecca.

Hajo is 32 km northwest of Guwahati. It was known by different names in different periods of history. The Kalika Puran (11th century) mentions the place as Apunarbhava and Manikuta and the Yogini Tantra (14th century) as Vishnupuskara and Apunarbhava.
Situated in the Manikuta hill of Hajo is the Harigriva Madhav Temple (Harigriva means the 'horsehead' incarnation of Visnu). King Raghudevnarayan built the present temple in 1583 on the foundation of an older temple that was probably built during the 6th -7th century AD. The temple is also visited by pilgrims from Bhutan and also by Tibetans.
Poa Mecca is the holy shrine of the Muslims situated on top of the Garudadhol hill. In the shrine there is a tomb of the Saint Ghiyassuuddin Auliia and a mosque built in 1657 AD by Sujauddin Mohammed Shah (Governor of West Bengal), the son of Shah Jahan. The original shrine founded in the 16th century, was destroyed during the Ahom-Mughal conflict in the early part of the 17th century. It was later rebuilt by Sujauddin. It is said that a visit to this shrine confers 1/4th of the merit obtained from a pilgrimage to Mecca.
Brass metal work done by the Moria community can be seen here. The craftsmen themselves made the alloy, but since the middle part of the nineteenth century the braziers began to import brass in sheets manufactured in North India. The articles were not only sold in Assam but also imported to Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and East Bengal (present Bangladesh).